Genomics and Regulatory Systems Unit (Nicholas M. Luscombe)


We wish to understand the population and life cycle of zooplanktons in marine ecosystems using the globally distirbuted larvacean Oikopleura dioica. We achieve this by studying oceanic specimens and in-house animal cultures. Specifically, we will answer the following questions:

  1. What is the population structure of larvaceans across the world’s oceans and how do they evolve?
  2. In what ways do the genomes of larvaceans affect their developmental, morphological and behavioural characteristics?
  3. What is the interplay between the population genomic and phenotypic properties of larvaceans with the marine ecosystem?

Our unit applies computational and statistical methods to analyse genome-scale measurements. In taking a genomic perspective, we uncover global principles that encompass many biological conditions. We apply this knowledge to understand features unique to individual systems or organisms within a broader context. Ultimately, we wish to achieve quantitative explanations to the questions above in order to identify specific biological interventions that can help maintain or rebuild healthy marine ecosystems.